There are many ways of obtaining IT services. As a company grows or changes it’s a good idea to sit down and work out how core services are to be provided. In this post we’re going to look at two common ways of obtaining IT services and the pros and cons of each.
From the very first days of a company’s life, elements of it will need to be outsourced. Accounting and marketing are two common parts of a business that are often fulfilled by an outside company when a business starts. Over time this arrangement is reviewed and, often, a bookkeeper is hired for the accounts and marketing director hired on a permanent basis.
Break / Fix
IT is often on a break/fix basis for new smaller companies. You call a small IT firm for a specific issue and they will resolve that issue, then bill you for time and materials. This method of working keeps things very simple and easy to manage. Billing is on-demand and pay-as-you-go and so it’s easier to manage costs. Break / Fix may work well for a time, but as things progress, this model may become unstuck. The IT requirements become increasingly complex and the number of users grows. A move to bigger premises or a major shift in methods of working may mean things need to change. In this situation many companies opt for managed IT services.
Managed IT services
It may sound scary, but most companies already use some form of managed technology service. Internet is simply a communication technology managed service. Taken forward a step, IT as a managed service offers a number of useful possibilities.
- Control of costs by contract
Rather than controlling costs by using fewer services, you can control costs by selecting which services are provided. For example, you may be able to simply “bolt-on” services such as cloud email or application support. Costs are worked out in advance making financial planning easier.
- Access additional services when needed
Managed service providers will have a wide range of abilities they can bring to your organisation. From application and web design to IT and telecoms, a business is able to adapt quicker to a change in circumstances when they are able to implement new infrastructure efficiently.
- Reduce the planning requirement
Take a service such as email. Traditionally your in-house support (or break/fix partner) needs to do all the planning for IT and telecoms. This is an expensive and time-consuming process. By saying to a service partner, “We need an email system that has a specific set of features and can scale to 100 users over time”, you can simply place the planning burden on them. Since they will have access to a wide range of knowledge and technical options, the end result is likely to be more robust.
- Obtain services on a per user basis
By leveraging a mixture of physical and cloud-based technologies, managed service companies are able to provide solutions at a price point that is much more competitive. Based on this you’d be able to create an agreement that says “for every user in the company, you will supply hardware, software, email and remote access then provide ongoing support” and agree on a price per employee. This means as your business grows you can simply financially account for each new hire you plan for.
While managed services aren’t the right option for all companies it does need to be considered when looking at IT planning in general. IT and telecoms are an increasingly complex operation and trying to balance all those spinning plates in-house can lead to overloaded staff and technology failures. Three Cherries are able to provide a range of managed IT services that you can leverage for a competitive advantage.